Friday, December 30, 2011

Crafty Intentions

My intention this Christmas break was to do a bunch of sewing. I was pretty successful with it a couple years ago. This year I have been a bit lazy with it. All I have sewn so far is Christmas dolls for the girls. They are from the Wee Wonderfuls book by Hillary Lang. I love her dolls. Maybe I will get to it and sew something this weekend.

Yesterday I finally had time to play with some of the new yarns I am going to be adding to my shop. It was kind of cool so see how the colors came out differently for the different fibers. They are finally dry, but no pictures yet. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures taken tomorrow. Today was far too gloomy for pictures.

I might finish the sock monkey tomorrow. I am pretty excited at the thought of being able to finish a project. I have both arms done. Now I just have the tail and the face left. They are all small stuff, so I might finish.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My First Real Hair Post

After doing a bit of digging tonight, I found my hair measurements for the year. My hair has grown 3 inches since I started keeping track again in May. I’ve been measuring every month at about the same time of the month. This is the picture I took a few weeks ago to show how long my hair is:



I use sweet almond oil on my hair to keep it healthy and strong. Generally, I put it on the night before I am going to wash it. Right now, I am trying to decide if I should go back to using shampoo on my hair or not. My hair tends to be an ongoing science experiment.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Coming New Year

This is a project I’ve been working on lately:



It is a sock monkey I was making for Knitter #3’s birthday in October. She would like to play with it someday.

I have a few plans for the New Year. More knitting. More blogging. Weight loss. Getting in shape before I am 40 in the summer. That is my real goal. The weight loss will happen. I want to be able to say on my 40th birthday that I am finally fit again. I used to be before I had kids. What’s my plan? Well, I actually started about 2 months ago. Eating carefully, exercising, and being serious about it. The stars finally seemed to come into alignment in October, so I got started. And I can tell I am on my way. I feel so much stronger already.

I would also like to dress up a little more. I used to admire a blog where someone cataloged their cute vintage outfits. I like vintage. I am a huge fan of the early 1900’s. Need I say that I can’t get enough of Downton Abbey? I love the clothes, the hats. Not just the flashy outfits of the daughters, but the outfits you see the maids in when they are off duty. I am determined to make myself another skirt like my favorite denim one. Only not in denim. I recently was introduced to Sock Dreams by a friend on a long hair forum. That place has socks that make you want to wear a skirt!

I’ve decided to talk about my hair and hair care here a bit, so here is my hair:



Last summer I started using henna on it to cover up some horrible highlights I had put in a few years ago. I love the color. And since it is not chemical, I can do my eyebrows to match. I do the henna every couple months, but my eyebrows need touched up more often. Probably in a few years I will quit using the henna and let my natural color grow out before I start to really go gray.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas

Long time, no blogging. But I love blogging. So I have promised myself I will get back into it. It seems like my blogging is linked to my knitting. If I don’t knit, I don’t blog. I just have not knit that much in the past year and a half. Knitting makes me happy, so I am going to make more time for it. I have a lot of unfinished knitting projects that I just need to finish. Can’t wear what you don’t finish…

Christmas was nice. I went to bed earlier this year than I have for several years. We didn’t have anywhere to be on Christmas Eve, which was nice. I also started wrapping presents 3 or 4 days before Christmas. That made things go better. My best present was either my brand new Dremel 4000 or my Kindle. I will go on about the Kindle first. My brother got it for me and it is something I never thought seriously about getting. I have lots of books in my house I can read. And there are always things more important than a grown up toy. I love it. I visited Project Gutenberg and acquired a few books. I haven’t looked in to how to download books from Amazon without a wireless connection. I have over 15 books loaded on my Kindle, so I won’t have to worry about it for a bit.

I asked Brent to get me a Dremel because I want to carve myself some hair toys. Something I really don’t talk about here at all is my hair. I have long hair. What most people would consider very long hair. It is my ambition to grow it much longer. Tomorrow I hope to starting playing around with my Dremel and start carving a hair stick out of a piece of apple wood.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

New Knitting

Have you ever just stopped and looked at your house and thought “How in the HELL did this happen?!” I’ve been taking a lot of hard looks at mine lately. One day my husband said our house has never been so bad, and he is right. So, I am embarking on a major, major clean out. It all really started with the mouse invasion. I kept thinking that our house is perfect for mice with all the junk and clutter. I started asking myself how many things in our kitchen could just GO. And I think if people would just put stuff AWAY then maybe we would find there is really tons of space in our house. I’m not sure how to get all of them on board with the putting away. Especially the husband. If think the kids will follow if the adults lead.

Anyone out there making things for Christmas yet? I have a project lined up for Christmas, but not started. I have grown to have mixed feelings about Christmas projects. I like life with few pressures. Especially since I make stuff for my shop. I used to be a knitting machine. Now days, I like to just enjoy myself when I knit. I don’t do many projects. Not compared to what I used to do.

This is the project I have been working on lately:



It grew all week:



I would like to get to this before the snow comes:



I’ve also been plugging away at this:



It is the Ollalieberry Ice Cream Quilt by Alicia Paulson. I am using it to make a new duvet for our down comforter. The other one has been shredding for some time. I am sewing over 500 squares together. It is taking FOREVER. I can’t wait for this step to be over so I can sew them into rows.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here We Are

Busy times these days. I’ve been working a lot on my etsy shop and preschool started back up a few weeks ago.This is the yarn I mentioned the last time I posted a few months ago:




Here are some ribbons I got at the fair at the beginning of August:





Friday, July 29, 2011

Yarny Things

Dyeing yarn goes so much faster when you have lots of scurrying about to do. I am doing 3 skeins of yarn today for a mystery shawl kal. Rav link HERE. It starts the first and is NOT FREE. But it is only $4. Many of the mystery shawl knit longs used to be free, thus my all caps. It starts on Monday, so if you are interested, go check it out. My colors have turned out so well. I was especially worried about how the green would turn out. They are perfect. That never happens in yarn dyeing. Never. To have an idea of 3 colors in your head and have them all turn out just the way you want is amazing. Hopefully the shawl looks amazing! I have much winding ahead of me… I promise to post pictures of my yarn tomorrow.

I was beginning to wonder if I would finish my vest in time for the fair, but I think I will. If not, I am sure I can locate enough things around the house that I’ve made in the past year. It would be a bit embarrassing if I couldn’t come up with anything for the fair. This year, for us, the fair changes. The oldest is now in 4H. We have to go to the fair grounds almost every day. Wednesday will be a busy day. I will have my knitting, and cold things to keep us cool. There is just nothing more fun than a county fair! And let’s face it, rural counties have the best fairs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Adventures in Steeking

I am getting seriously annoyed with my isp. We keep getting these ‘problem loading’ messages. The connection is the only thing it can be. Sometimes it is for a minute or two, sometimes much longer. I am calling them tomorrow.

I’ve been doing the unspeakable. Steeking. I posted about steeking several years ago when I made a sweater for a very small knitter #3.

My mostly finished knitting sweater:




If you look closely, you will see a line of blue stitching on the left side:



And then I began to cut my knitting:



This was much more dicey than my previous steeking experience. Silk garden isn’t as sticky as an all wool yarn.

Here it is all cut and waiting to be picked up and knit:



Now I am knitting the neck. I’m part of the way up the first side.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer?! Where Did it Go?!

In my absence, there has been much going on. Just last week we discovered there were mice in the house. I don’t think anything could make my skin crawl more than having mice. When I was growing up, my mother was constantly fighting the mice. When she died, no one fought them and we had a horrible mouse problem. I had an enormous freak out over the mice and had to clean the entire pantry top to bottom. This also helped rid us of the nasty pantry moths. That is a whole other subject. On that subject I will just say if you ever get them take the advice you read online to heart and just DO it. Airtight is the only thing that deters them. It will also keep the mice out if they come visiting. Our pantry is now VERY organized:



I’ve been knitting:



I am glad to see this thing nearly finished. It will be nice to wear this fall when it starts cooling off. Not that the summer has been hot here. Just in the rest of North America. Here in the PNW, we are keeping the woolies close to hand. Even here in the inland part of the Northwest.

I think I am not going to get access back to my Ravelry account. I changed passwords when they had the break in issue and couldn’t remember it. The email associated with it no longer exists. It has been well over a month since I was able to get into Ravelry as 3grrrlsknit. I haven’t heard from them in over 2 weeks and I even sent a “hey what’s up” message Sunday night. There were a lot of messages back and forth, but lately nothing but silence. I’ve created a Moon Stone Farm account there. I want my old account back, though. I am sad without it.

Even though I can’t seem to figure out where the summer has gone, I am beginning to look forward to fall and cooler weather. The need for sweaters and pumpkins. This fall will be different. I will be sending the littlest knitter off to school. I have always had her with me up until now. It’s only a few days a week and I will usually be at work on those days. I will adjust. We will have the other days together. I just think I won’t survive it…

Lately, I’ve been reading my books on fair isle knitting. They are fascinating. I love reading about it because it all involves my darling Shetlands. Fair Isle is part of Shetland. When I first read about it in the first book by Sheila McGregor some years ago, I never dreamed I would one day have my own herd of Shetland sheep. Even farther back, I remember thinking it would be wonderful to have some, but thinking they probably weren’t even in North America. At that time, they were, but not many. Not that they are terribly common now. But you can find them.

I hope summer has been great for everyone out in blogland!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

It's June...

This is the latest I have ever put tomatoes in the garden. Usually I do it in the middle of May. I was afraid to this year. Today I planted the tomatoes. By the time I was done, I didn’t want to do the peppers, eggplant, or broccoli. Or the seeds. I have 3 rows of tomatoes, but I don’t know how many. I didn’t feel like counting, either. Hopefully, I can get more done tomorrow.

Maggie’s whole world has been turned upside down. Her ‘rotten’ cousin follows me everywhere I go. And I let her. Maggie says “How could she?! That dog doesn’t work the woolies. She has no reason for being.” Maggie knows that the beginning and ending of all life is working sheep. There can be no other reason for living. She probably thinks there’s something wrong with me because I don’t stare at them all the time.

I am thinking again about posting patterns that I have written up. I am also thinking about starting a farm blog about the animals. Not sure yet.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Freedom...

It is all so exciting now. School is out for me and Knitter #3. #2 gets out tomorrow. Knitting for the fair is in full swing. It is finally starting to warm up. We have 3 dogs for the month of June. We got a 14 foot trampoline. FREE! AND…. My younger brother/sister is bringing fabric back when s/he returns from a trip to Thailand. That is so freaking exciting!

Since I’ve brought up my younger sibling being transgender… I have to say that in a conservative state like this I worry about her safety and you will probably not see me bring it up again.

So, Sunny is ours for the next month! Some of you may have seen a picture of her visiting last year. Expect lots of pictures over the coming month. The sheep and most of the goats have not taken too much notice of her yet. However, tonight, Zoe and Belle freaked out when they saw her. I can just imagine what they were thinking when they saw a strange devil dog rushing at them… (Really she was just rushing to meet me) They didn’t turn tail and run for their lives, but I think it was only because I seemed completely unconcerned. And I am their mother who they always trust.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The weather here is so nice right now. Makes you just want to be outside. So I have been. First of all, we went yard saling. And then I mowed the yard. We have a new lawnmower. It is one of those Toro Recycler mowers. High ratings with Consumer Reports. It is self propelled. To say it the Dick and Jane way: See Kathy. See Kathy run. See Kathy run after the lawnmower. I finally got used to it and didn’t feel as if I was being dragged. And I didn’t have to push and shove to get it up hill. Nice. Anyone who has a perfectly flat yard has not lived. I planned on fertilizing tonight after I put the birds to bed and turning on the sprinkler system, but it’s raining I hope someday our yard will look less like a patchy pasture and more like a lawn.

My knitting felt like it was going really well until I looked at the pattern. I’d gotten to the 15 inches needed before splitting the front from back when I noticed I was supposed to do some neckline shaping starting at the 10 inch mark. Oops. And it wasn’t the sort of thing that could be fixed by laddering down, either. I haven’t had that big of a rip in years. It would help if I hadn’t lost track of my pattern. (note that I don’t say ‘lost’)

Summer break is nearly upon us here. This week my baby, my littlest knitter, will graduate from preschool. My boss says preschool will be strange without our 2 youngest kids. They’ve always been there right from the beginning. I think we will get by without them. And if we think we won’t, we can just remember all the times they got crabby and were a pain in the you know where. Where was I? Summer. No schedule to stick to every day. Heaven.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Long, Cold Spring

This spring has been horrible around here. So cold the grass wouldn’t grow. When it warmed up, the ground had dried out and the grass didn’t grow. We’ve been getting some rain lately. This morning it was 37, the wind was blowing and it is still raining. The snow has been very slow to melt in the mountains. If it is 37 here, it is snowing up on the mountain. I’d rather it be warmer while it rains. Bring on the rain, I say. Last year was an amazing grass year. There was grass higher than my head, and I am average height. I’d be devastated if we ended up with NO grass this year. I could go on and on about grass issues, but I won’t.

I am working on my fair list now. I want to take several sweaters, but I have to make sure I can get them done in time. I think when I finish my current vest, I will start my Icelandic pullover. It seems like if I want to accomplish 11 in 2011, I should get on it and knit something. I also want to work from my yarn stash and my Ravelry queue. Somewhere, I have a fair book that lists all the categories. I find it interesting the categories our county DOESN’T have in knitting. Like shawls. Anyway, I would like to knit some smaller things if I can get the sweaters done.

I need take some new pictures of the lambs. They have grown a lot and their horns are starting to grow. In addition, one of them it turns out, is dark brown, not black. They are gray underneath like their parents. The reason they will not have names is because they can’t stay here. We will probably eat them. If there was a possibility one could stay here as a ram, we still would not want to play with him and make him a pet. Rams can be dangerous so you just can’t do that with them. The rule with rams is that they do not race up to you and tear snacks from your fingers. It is their nature to be aggressive since they are male and if your ram thinks he can run up and hit you like he does his companions, you will get hurt. Not good. Those sort of rams end up as sausages quite often I hear.

Something new: I’m learning to play the banjo right now! Last night, I started learning Angelina Baker because Knitter #2 is going to start learning it in fiddle class soon.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

What Happened on the Night of April 1st...




These little guys were really, really brand new when I found them Friday night. I never did see any big signs from Dolce. I’d been watching her all day. When I went out to shut them up and feed them, I found 2 little ram lambs. One wasn’t even all cleaned off yet. Since they are rams, they will probably not get names.

My new camera came Friday, too. I hope that my pictures will be really great now. I stayed up late last night reading the book to it. It is Canon Eos T2i. So far, I am in love with it. I’ve wanted a dslr for so long. It arrived just in time for soccer. Our first game is tomorrow night.

Today we did this:



We got in all the rest of the steel posts for our pastures. We have a few wood posts to set and then lots of fence to stretch. This project started about a year ago. I took that picture standing normally, just for the record. I hear sheep love running up hill just like fire does. Fortunately, not all of the pastures are that steep. However, they are still mostly sloping and our sheep and goats are expected to help keep the shepherdess’ house from burning down one of these summers when lightning starts a fire. We need more sheep. Let’s all pray Portia has ewe lambs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Only Music Here

No lambs. Yet. I think that Dolce is getting close. She looks like she must be terribly uncomfortable. The lamb is definitely dropping. However, I haven’t seen any tell tale signs yet. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is their due date and Dolce seems like the sort of ewe who follows the rules… When other sheep run out of the barn just for the sheer naughtiness of it, she stays and eats her hay.

My banjo came yesterday and nearly the first thing I did was break a string. Brent got me a set of replacement strings today and I am already learning my first song. I have the first part of it almost down. Tomorrow I may try to play along with the cd. I had no idea that banjos were so very heavy! Glad I got an open back and not one with a resonator. I was nearly sweating blood today getting the new string in and in tune. I was worried about snapping it like I had the previous one. I was trying to get all the strings in tune when it snapped on me. I am so glad I decided to learn to play the banjo!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shorn!

The sheep were sheared on Friday. They are now SMALL. Before Friday afternoon, when they were in the barn, there seemed to be no room to move around. Here are my poor, cold sheep:


Dolce, Portia, and Esme



Portia, Ruby, McLean and Skye

Naturally, at picture time, Lucy was being a bit silly and didn't get in the pictures. Today I will starting working with the fleeces. Brent built me a rack for skirting and drying (after washing) the fleeces. Skirting is when you remove bits that aren’t good. Hay, poo, felted bits, short bits that you couldn’t spin.

AND we are waiting for the lambs to arrive! Expect some lamby cuteness around here fairly soon. Dolce and Portia are the only ones bred this year, so my lambing will be short. I am anxious to see how many they will have and what color they will be. Of course, their color can change, too. Lucy went from being an adorable little black and gray sheep to being my adorable gray sheep. She is darker than the others. I will be interested to see what color it is as it grows out. This time of year is also the only time you can see all of Skye’s spots.

I haven’t been knitting much lately. Too many other things going on. My brand new banjo should be here on Wednesday. Jenna over at Cold Antler Farm is giving banjo lessons on her blog, so I decided to learn along. Best of all, Knitter #2 and I will be able to play together! I am not sure if I’ve mentioned here that she is learning to play the fiddle. We are both going to be learning by ear as soon as the banjo gets here. And I have finally broken down and am getting a new camera. I’ve wanted a dslr type camera for a long time. I always talked myself out of one because they are so expensive. Then a few weeks ago, I watched one of the girls running with a kite. All I could think was that I wished I had one of those cameras so I could have a whole series of photos of her running with that kite.

This is how my garden is coming along:



Mostly too cold and wet to get much done outside, but this is our start for the gardening year.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just To Cheer Me Up.....

I am way past due for posting around here. Lots of interesting things have been happening here. New dryer. Maggie’s birthday. Inability to find a sheep shearer. And that is a big one. Never thought it would be that big of a problem.

How about some pictures of sheepy, goaty cuteness?


The goats always seem to really want me to take their pictures. It's like they are saying "we're the good animals, see how cute we are?" (Ha! I have stories...)

This is Kisses. She belongs to my daughter in so many ways. They are both so girly.



The sheep. Most of them, anyway. They are not being anti social. They are watching a dog make an a** of herself. That would be Maggie.

McLean. Maggie's best friend in the whole world. A BAD sheep. He and Maggie destroyed a gate having good clean fun last year. Bad dog + bad sheep boy = destroyed property.


My Lucy. Lucy chose me. To be chosen by a sheep is special. I think I love Lucy more than any other animal I own. Look at that face! How could anyone not love her?! If I weren't against keeping livestock in the house, she would SO be living in my house. Lucy is the sweetest little thing in the whole world. When I first met her at Stonehaven Farm, she kept seeking me out. I would scratch under her chin and she would run away. And then she would come back. She was born last spring, so she isn't full grown yet. Right now, she is the smallest sheep. Soon, she will not be. On April 1, Portia and Dolce are due to lamb...

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Last Day of TV

It is the last day of February and the last day of tv here. I think it will be much easier to have the tv off during the school year. By the time summer comes, the kids will be used to no tv and will not act as if it is some kind of hardship. We didn’t watch much tv when I was a kid. We decided to shut it off until football season comes back around. The state of television programming only gets worse as time goes on. And it will save us a lot of money. The only way to get tv here is to have a satellite dish.

I hope winter ends soon. I have never welcomed the coming of spring so much except the winter my father died. That year (2009) spring held so much meaning. Life, hope, and moving on. Winter meant death and desolation. Old pagan sentiments. They were right. This year, winter came early and I am anxious for it to leave NOW. I’d be even happier for it to leave if I lived in most of the rest of the country. We’ve missed out on blizzards and subzero temperatures here. I want to see grass growing. I’ve bought all the hay I can buy from Gilbert the Hay Guy. And I need to find someone to shear my sheepers. In a month, we should get a few lambs.

Since all the good times will soon be upon us, I planted tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant yesterday. There doesn’t seem to be any room left under the lights for broccoli and Brussels sprouts. I love gardening season!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stash Problems...

Hey, remember me? Since we last saw me here I’ve doing stuff like this:




And this:



This is a shawl I started in the fall but put down:



I really like the project, but there is nothing mindless about it. Not good knitting for dance or fiddle where I sometimes need to pay attention to what my kids are doing.


I knit a cute little flower and never took a picture before giving it away. I’ve been knitting quite a lot, actually. Last weekend, when I ran out of library books to read, I started reading in some of my Elizabeth Zimmerman books. Somehow, that lead me to the conclusion that I needed to use up some of the yarn and fabric I have because my work area is an absolute disaster. That and the fact that I couldn’t find my elastic last weekend. So here it is: Because I didn’t have enough library books to get me through the weekend, I had to buy some storage containers for my crafting/work area. Conclusion: Not checking out enough library books costs you money. Heaven forbid I read my own books… This has become a digression, I think.

Anyway, I decided if I knit up 30 balls of yarn I will have depleted my project supply enough to not feel ashamed of myself. In general, I don’t just buy yarn for nothing in particular. I buy yarn for projects and put it away. There is a certain sweater I have wanted to make for a very long time, and I have had the yarn for a long time. The sweater has been in my Ravelry Queue since October 11, 2007. I have probably had the yarn for longer than that. It seems like I don’t knit things that I have the yarn for. I find something I want to knit and get the yarn and knit it. Both of the sweaters pictured above were in my queue for quite a while. The one in progress I did have the yarn in stash for over a year. I have yarn that has been marinating around this house for a good long time. The funny thing is that when I got married nearly 9 years ago, I had no yarn stash and no fabric stash. When we moved into our house 7 years ago, there was no fabric stash and a very small remnant stash of yarn and fabric.

Obviously, I need to use what I have.

As for my fabric stash, I don't always buy for projects. Sometimes I buy for the sheer prettiness, so I have a vague plan to just use up some of the fabric I have on hand. The kids are bound to win this one.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Resolutions

New Years has come, and so have the resolutions. I haven’t had any resolutions for the past couple years, and feel like I need them.

1. I will lose 5 lbs every month by exercising and eating right until I reach my goal.

2. I will make 10 new things for my etsy shop and get them listed every month.

3. I will keep working at using The Flylady to get myself uncluttered and organized.

I decided to leave out any knitting or sewing goals. The longer I knit, the harder it is to find new techniques to learn.

I didn’t end up making the resolutions post yesterday because I spent a lot of the day on this:





It is goat cheddar. It will now spend the next month to 3 months aging. In a few days I will coat it with cheese wax and store it someplace cool.

Lately it hasn’t been hard to find cool places. Our mornings have been in the single digits for days. This morning was actually up in the teens, but it is supposed to be colder tomorrow morning again. Strangely, the sheep and goats are very frisky in this cold. I understand the sheep being that way, but the goats I don’t get. Perhaps their minds are being twisted by the sheep…